Leader of the Band

Leader of the Band : The Life of Woody Herman

4 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


Woody Herman was a central figure in the development of jazz - a musical giant whose career spanned the big band and bebop eras. Gene Lees has spent close to a decade interviewing Herman's friends and fellow musicians, to produce a vivid portrayal of the triumph and tragedy of a life in jazz. We follow his rise to prominence in the 1930s as leader of 'the band that plays the blues,' through success in the 1940s , when bebop rapidly developed, to the ultimate tragedy that broke Herman's career - when his manager diverted the band's withholding tax to settle gambling debts. Along the way, Lees brings to life the weary routine of performing on the road, with its constant one-night engagements and unending travel, broken only by brief stays at home and moments of camaraderie.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 155.4 x 232.9 x 28.7mm | 607.82g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 16 pp halftones
  • 0195115740
  • 9780195115741
  • 1,729,719

About Gene Lees

Gene Lees is the author of many books on jazz and popular music, including Waiting for Dizzy, and Cats of Any Color. He was formerly an editor of Downbeat, and is the founder of Jazzletter. The legendary Dizzy Gillespie called Lees `the glowing jewel of jazz' for his perceptive writing about the music.
show more

Review quote

the kind of book that makes you want to go and listen to all the records * New York Times Book Review *
show more

Rating details

3 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 33% (1)
4 33% (1)
3 33% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X